Wood is a valued material for building because of its unique properties.
Wood is strong, lightweight, flexible and easy to work with. Because of these properties, wood is the preferred material for building homes. Douglas-fir and other softwoods are used for structural framing, doors, paneling and siding. Hardwoods are more commonly used for furniture, flooring and cabinetwork.
Wood is a very versatile building material. The orientation of each piece of lumber affects its relative strength and flexibility. So, depending on how each piece is placed, lumber fits a variety of needs in constructing a house.
Compare the three orientations of lumber below. Which provides the most strength? Which provides the most flexibility?